British and American English are the two major varieties of English that usually stand in the focus. For a long time their significance was very different: British English was favored, often viewed as a purer and more correct variety and in teaching it as a foreign language it was considered the better option. American English, however, has gained a lot of influence, especially because of the easy access to recent TV shows and Hollywood movies and even in teaching is no longer seen as a bad choice.

In this class we will investigate how different these two varieties really are. We will search for differences in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar and how these came into being. But we will also check whether the variation between them is really as significant as could be assumed by the ongoing discussion of a ‘better English’ and whether there is something like a bad influence of one variety on another.